Observation – 3/13/2014 – John F. Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park, Lewis Range

BNSF RAILWAY AVALANCHE SAFETY
VOLUNTARY FIELD OBSERVATIONS
(406) 863-0476 Email: richard.steiner@bnsf.com

 

 

DATE
SUBMITTED:

TIME SUBMITTED:

OBSERVATION LOCATION

OBSERVATION
DATE:

SUBMITTED BY:

3/13/2014

        1620

Shed 7 West SZ

3/13/2014

Steiner

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Toured through the Shed 7 terminus avalanche debris into the Shed 7 East avalanche path.  Then skinned the looker’s right side (trim line) of Shed 7East path to about 1/2 path.  Exited ½ path hard right into the trees and to the Shed 7 East/ Shed 6 ridge.   Once on the ridge, we worked our way to the Shed 7 East weather station for a welfare check and then onto the Shed 7 West starting zone where we conducted a full profile.  Touring uphill consisted of fair (frozen surface conditions).  Warm conditions in the afternoon created poor skiing conditions at elevations below 6000 feet (1818m). No shooting cracks, collapsing or audible failures observed during today’s field observations.

WEATHER OBSERVATIONS:

Mostly sunny skies with light west winds and air temperatures around 320 F or 00C at our profile location (1300).  Air temperatures on the Canyon floor hovered in the low 30s F  overnight and by late day had reached 400 F (40C).  No precipitation in the past 48 hours. 

SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS:

Conducted a full profile on a 30 degree south/ southeast aspect (1600) at the top of the starting zone of Shed 7 West at 6496 feet (1968 m) elevation. Profile was 95 cm in height.

 

  • Main layer of concern at this profile location is the interface of a 5 cm thick- 2.0mm facet layer that is on top of an 8 cm 4F+ crust.  This interface was located 70 cm from the snowpack surface or 25 cm from the snowpack/ ground interface.

 

  • Stability Tests:
    ECTP 20, 21 and 25 Q1@ 70 cm from the surface or 25 cm from the snowpack/ ground interface.  This was on top of the previous mentioned decomposing crust and 2 mm facets.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

  • This snowpack was isothermal and moist throughout .

AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS:

Recent size D2 SS avalanche activity observed on a SW exposure of Peak 6996 (False Shields).  Crown(s) located at approximately 6000 feet(1818 m) elevation with terminus debris deposited at unknown elevation in the Shields Creek drainage.  Also Recent size D2 SS avalanche activity (observed 3/12/14) on the NE exposure of Shed 7 West at elevations between 6400 feet (1939 m) and 6600 (2000) feet.  This SS avalanche crown was approximately 200’ (60 m) in length and 30 cm in depth.  Terminus was deposited in the upper starting zone above 6200 feet (1879 m) elevation.

BNSF AVALANCHE SAFETY FIELD OBSERVATIONS SUBMITTED TO FLATHEAD AVALANCHE CENTER AND GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ARE BEING PROVIDEDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SPECIFIED GLACIER NATIONAL PARK SPECIAL USE PERMIT.  

 

THESE OBSERVATIONS REPRESENT SITE SPECIFIC INFORMATION INTENDED FOR THE BNSF AVALANCHE SAFETY PROGRAM AND IN NO WAY ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS A PUBLIC/ RECREATION AVALANCHE FORECAST. 

 

 

1 of 2 soft slabs observed in southern Glacier Park, Lewis Range. 3/13/2014.

1 of 2 soft slabs observed in southern Glacier Park, Lewis Range. 3/13/2014.

2 of 2 soft slabs observed in southern Glacier Park, Lewis Range. 3/13/2014.

2 of 2 soft slabs observed in southern Glacier Park, Lewis Range. 3/13/2014.


For a quick reference of snow profile notation click here.
For a full reference check Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Guidelines.

03_13_14_Shed 7 west